Guatemalan murder accused claims he was attacked by a 'demonic entity'

Cape Town - It was a sombre Valentine's Day at the Western Cape High on Wednesday as Guatemalan murder-accused Diego Novella described his last interactions with his former girlfriend Gabriela Kabrins Alban.

Novella testified that he had left a Camps Bay hotel room he shared with Alban, after an argument on the morning of her murder - June 29, 2015.

He said that, when he returned, he was confronted by a "demonic entity," which he now perceives was Alban.

"Before entering the room, a voice told me: 'Open the curtains.' I don't know where it came from," Novella told the court.

"I remember having an argument with her - when I say 'her' I am referring to a demonic entity."

He testified that Alban proceeded to attack him.

"It bit and scratched me on the chest and arm."

'The Exorcist'

He compared Alban to the protagonist from the film 'The Exorcist', with a "grey aura".

Novella was unable to recall several aspects of the day in question. He was also unable to recollect how many times he had been bitten.

Earlier in the day, Novella refused to testify until Alban's family moved from the seats directly in front of the witness stand - which are usually occupied by attorneys.

"I will not testify until the family sits on the correct bench," said Novella.

"It makes me distracted and uncomfortable to look at the family every time I speak."

Novella's Spanish interpreter was seated next to the family and he explained that he constantly had to look at the family when testifying.

"It affects everyone - the judge, the police at the back and the citizens of South Africa - because things aren't dealt with fairly," Novella told the court.

Judge Vincent Saldanha explained that the family was seated there because of the poor acoustics in the court room.

"They are entitled to hear the proceedings," said Saldanha.

However, he ruled that the family be moved to the benches allocated to the media.

The trial continues.